On September 24, 2021 more than 300 American business leaders signed a letter calling on Congress to immediately address the climate crisis by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda into law via reconciliation. 

By Ramona du Houx

September 28, 2021

“Companies are seriously concerned about climate change and its impact on American businesses and those which signed on recognize the necessity and urgency of this bill. With it will come the investments needed to build back better, and it includes adequate and appropriate means to fund it as proposed,” said Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). “It’s absurd that any pro-business group which purports to represent the interests of American businesses would not be unequivocally supportive unless they were more concerned with their own short-term gains than the survival of our planet and future generations.”

These business leaders noted that the climate crisis is here, that it is already impacting the livelihoods and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of Americans, and that everyone in the nation is at risk, regardless of where they live. Importantly, these business leaders not only endorsed the climate provisions within the President’s Build Back Better Agenda, but also explicitly expressed support for the revenue measures needed to pay for the investments.

“Patagonia strongly urges Congress to quickly pass the once-in-a-generation opportunity to avoid a worsening climate crisis and give working families the support they deserve. Our company is willing to pay a higher corporate tax rate and we urge Congress to also consider ending subsidies for extractive industries to pay for this critical legislation. The investments would accelerate an energy economy based on wind and solar, fund the Civilian Climate Corps and protect threatened landscapes. We also urge Congress to prioritize paid leave and child care for workers because we’ve seen firsthand how essential it is to support our employees with those benefits. The economic recovery depends on enabling people to return to the labor force by addressing the urgent issues of child care availability, sick leave and work/life balance,” said Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia.

Among the hundreds of companies that have signed on to the letter are: Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Dr. Bronner’s, EILEEN FISHER, Grove Collaborative, Naturepedic, Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield, and Trillium Asset Management. A copy of the letter, complete with the full list of signers, can be found here: https://www.asbcouncil.org/pod/see-supporting-companies-1.

“New Jersey epitomizes the increasingly high stakes involved in the direction of our political economy, and the stark choice that we face,” said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council. “While our state has become a leader in advancing policies and market innovation aimed at creating a more equitable clean energy economy over the long-term, our communities and businesses remain among the most vulnerable to climate impacts in the near-term. In the race between reaching clean energy or climate tipping points, we’re way behind. Businesses who care about creating long-term value for all stakeholders agree – this infrastructure bill must be passed and implemented without delay.”

The business groups that signed the letter intend to keep their joint letter open so that additional responsible business leaders that wish to endorse the Build Back Better Agenda and call for immediate action can easily lend their voices to this important effort.  They can do so by signing up at https://www.asbcouncil.org/support-investments-build-back-better.

“We need the BBB agenda to call for every single dollar spent on rebuilding America’s infrastructure to be used to curb the damage done by extreme weather and climate change,” said Derek Peebles, executive director of American Independent Business Alliance. “The investments can spur a new generation of workers, entrepreneurs. The plan also needs to correct inequities in the tax system that has far too long benefited big corporations at the expense of small businesses.”

The mission of Social Venture Circle (SVC) is to pull together money, expertise, and connections for the people creating a better economy—for our society and the environment—in a powerful, diverse, and inclusive network. SVC’s purpose is to lead the way for impact investors, entrepreneurs, and capacity-builders and catalyze the NEXT economy; a global economy that is regenerative, just, and prosperous for everyone. SVC believes justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion must be at the foundation for how we conduct ourselves, our businesses, and our investments, as we cultivate and grow our community.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy. We are a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBC and our association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.